In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen describes the Hertfordshire countryside as among the most beautiful in England. Here are 5 beautiful places for you to spend a day in Hertfordshire!
1) Knebworth House, Knebworth
This amazing country house once belonged to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Victorian novelist and pen-friend to Edgar Allan Poe. Nowadays it’s a listed building and exploring it and its grounds makes for a brilliant day out. If you’re into history and architecture, you’ll love the building’s wonderful gothic embellishments and well-preserved interior. The house also boasts beautifully kept Tudor gardens. Pperfect for picnics, ice cream and getting boozy in summer! As well as a maze and dinosaur trail, plus a massive adventure playground for young visitors.
2) The Priory Lido, Ware
I genuinely can’t think of a better way to spend the day in Hertfordshire in the summer than a visit to the Priory Lido! This gorgeous open-air pool was built in the 1930s in imitation of Venetian lidos, and with sun loungers and plenty of ice cream, it’s the ultimate sunny-day experience. The lido opens in late May and closes in early September… and for those who can’t quite face a dip even in summer, don’t worry – the water’s heated to a lovely 28 degrees.
3) Hitchin Lavender, Ickleford
Days out in Herts don’t get more whimsical than picking your own lavender! Enjoy truly astonishing views of the Hertfordshire countryside as you walk through 25 miles of irresistably Instagrammy purple lavender fields. And, just when you think it couldn’t get any more charming, there’s a converted barn built in the 1600s selling tea and cakes for when you’re done. Don’t forget to take your camera!
4) Hatfield House, Hatfield
A must-see for history lovers, this amazing Tudor estate was the childhood home of Elizabeth I and houses her famous Rainbow Portrait, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. After exploring the Old Palace and its Jacobean editions, as well as the beautiful gardens, hungry visitors can make their way to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recently opened River Cottage Kitchen and Deli for food befitting a queen!
5) Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, Leavesden
Probably the biggest tourist attraction in the whole of Hertfordshire, the Making of Harry Potter tour is unmissable for Potter fans. This studio tour takes you through all the most iconic sets from the film series. From the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley to a Forbidden Forest section complete with giant spiders. You have to book in advance, but once you’re inside you can spend as long as you like and are free to roam around and explore at your own pace. This is good, because it’ll take you a while to make your way through the vast assortment of artwork, props and models, all of which provide a fascinating insight into the making of the most successful film series ever. Probaby the BEST way to spend a day in Hertfordshire.